Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

img_1370I read a post yesterday in which a blogger I recently started to follow, The Haunted Wordsmith, quoted a so-called blogging expert who wrote, “In my opinion, no beginning blogger should be publishing anything under 1,000 words. And really, 2,000 words should be your goal.”

I’m sorry, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Well, speaking for myself, anyway, I don’t have the time to read posts that are between 1,000 to 2,000 words, much less to compose posts of that length. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading long posts. I do. But I’m more likely than not to skip such posts because I just don’t have the bandwidth.

Wait. If you tend to write longer posts, let me explain before you get pissed at me.

My full-time job is not blogging. Well, truth be told, I’m retired now, so I don’t have a job at all — full-time or even part-time. And I’m not a professional blogger. I don’t make a single, solitary cent from my blog. Blogging is just something I enjoy doing and I do it in my spare time.

I probably spend three, maybe four, hours a day on WordPress. A third to a half of that time is spent writing, proofreading, editing, fixing, and posting my own posts. The rest is spent reading and commenting on other bloggers’ posts.

Three or four hours a day may sound like a lot of hours, but it’s really not. I do have a life and I try very hard to ensure that my life is not consumed by writing or reading blog posts. So, in order to publish my own posts — usually two to four posts a day — plus read those of others who I follow or who comment on my posts, I have to manage my WordPress time effectively.

That means that I can’t spend a whole lot of time reading longer posts. And by “longer posts,” I generally mean posts longer than 500 words. Okay, 600 words if posted by some of my favorite bloggers (and you know who you are).

Yes, some of you might have noticed that sometimes I will write a post that exceeds 500 words. This post, for example, has 549 words. It’s rare, but it happens. And I will certainly understand and accept that there are those who, like me, can’t invest the time it takes to read longer posts.

I admit that by skipping posts that go much beyond 500 words, I am missing some great posts from some great bloggers. But if I can read three or four 300 to 500 word posts in the time it takes me to read one 1,500 word post, I can read more posts and get to experience more bloggers.

Besides, there’s something to be said for brevity. The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”

Again, I’m not saying that I won’t read your posts if I follow your blog. But I just might skim (or skip) the longer ones. It’s not you. It’s me.

Because as Sweet Brown famously said:

28 thoughts on “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

  1. Michael May 17, 2018 / 5:45 am

    The guy is completely wrong nobody reads anything a length in my experience. Ok maybe some people do but not many. I found that people like to read something in the region of 100 to 200 words and that is about it. This month I have written so so much and almost nobody is reading it and every day it is 1500 words. It’s just too much for people especially on stelephone screen. I am persistent because it’s something I wanted to do but if you look to build a readership then I would suggest a couple of hundred words at best and lots of it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango May 17, 2018 / 7:30 am

      I have been reading your “In-Between” posts. They are creating, fascinating, and engaging. I’m hooked. When you’re done with that series of posts, you should put them together in book form. It would be a great book.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael May 17, 2018 / 9:39 am

        Cheers mate yeah I think I might do that I think somebody else mentioned it earlier and what I’ve published is actually really more of a first draught I just sit down write it and post it so I reckon by the end of the month I’ll have close to 50 thousand words which with anedit or 12 might well work

        Liked by 1 person

    • Suze May 17, 2018 / 9:11 am

      Michael..I adore your thoughts that flow onto the computer…but can you maybe break it down into bite sized pieces for me? lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Haunted Wordsmith May 17, 2018 / 6:27 am

    I know what you mean about having to manage time wisely. I spend about 6-7 hours a day on WordPress reading, writing, and editing, but I never feel like I get enough done. I too have skipped long posts (even though I have written quite a few). There are so many great (and not so great) things to read, that if people followed his advice, there would be nothing to read. I would prefer to spend my time more wisely than worrying about whether a post is long enough…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 17, 2018 / 7:36 am

      Wow. 6-7 hours a day. That’s nearly double what I spend. I wish I had the time and the stamina to do that, but life so often gets in the way. I am really happy to have found your blog. I enjoy your writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor May 17, 2018 / 7:02 am

    That video was a tad annoying, but I enjoyed your post. I tend to write long posts, basically I am not being considerate to my readers, and this takes up a lot of my time composing them. No matter how hard I try to ensure that they are free from mistakes, I know that if I did spend more time on them that they would be better. Sometimes you just need to move on and just compose a new post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 17, 2018 / 7:38 am

      You are one of my favorite bloggers, Jim, and your posts are examples of longer posts I will take the time to read. Always full of interesting information and well written.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Marilyn Armstrong May 17, 2018 / 8:14 am

    I occasionally write long, but there has to be a reason for doing it. Otherwise, around 500 words is my “cut off” point. I’ll go to 600 or 700, but a 2000 word post? I won’t read it, much less write it. This is blogging, not essay composition. I think sometimes people don’t entirely “get” this medium. If you wanted a long read, you wouldn’t be reading blogs. Anyway, my best pieces have all been in the 400-800 range with a few important ones — Jonestown, for example — longer because they subject just needed it. When it’s history, you need to make sure you fill in enough blanks so readers at least know what you are talking about. Otherwise? I’ve written as little as 175 words and found it said just what I wanted to say — and that wasn’t “micro fiction.” It was just the entire thought. I add pictures. That probably helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 17, 2018 / 12:59 pm

      I read your posts regardless of length because you always have something interesting and entertaining to say. Plus pictures!

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong May 17, 2018 / 5:34 pm

        I try to keep things tight, but I won’t write for a particular length. I write as long as I need to get the point across. Sometimes, it’s longer, but often, I write long – then I start slashing sections. I’m a serious editor. Actually, I was an editor before I was a writer. I’m even better when I edit someone else’s work. I tend to over-edit my own stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. baddadcartoons101 May 17, 2018 / 8:25 am

    One to two panel cartoons is my max, those traditional 4 panel cartoons like peanuts and the ones you used to read in newspapers (remember newspapers) just won’t cut it anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Suze May 17, 2018 / 9:13 am

    I had to write term papers of 2000 words..I no longer attend classes for a danged good reason. Not only do I not want to write that much, I really do not have time to read that much. Unless it is a Pearl S Buck novel or a Wordsworth poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pensitivity101 May 17, 2018 / 11:08 am

    I keep my posts to around 500 – 600 words I suppose. If it’s a lot longer, I suggest getting tea and biscuits before you start reading.
    It’s one of the reasons I like the challenges as you’re restricted to the number of words you can use.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Richmond Road May 17, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    I concede that most of what I write on here is boring. It’s just a doodle. I’m not trying to sell anything. But I do take some comfort in knowing that, as nauseatingly boring as I may be, I could not possibly be as boring as someone who’s pastime is to write blogs about blogging. That almost defines ‘boring’.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango May 17, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      Actually, I find your wit to be quite good and your posts aren’t at all boring. But, hmm. I think this post that I wrote is about blogging. Sorry about that.

      Like

      • Richmond Road May 17, 2018 / 12:58 pm

        Likewise my comment on the matter. But that’s a bit different to devoting one’s entire site to the subject.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sight11 May 17, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    I don’t know If my writing is interesting in even shorter posts, but as far I can remember I never wrote any long posts. Poetry yes, but long posts no…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. everythinginappropriate May 18, 2018 / 12:37 am

    Hi Micheal…. too early to say this but yesterday when I was working on my very first post its was a 1000 words to start with. I finally managed to write only 476 words…YAY. Personally I prefer concise, and I agree that as much as I love reading, skimming through long posts is practically difficult considering the amount of great stuff available for us to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. leigha66 May 18, 2018 / 10:02 pm

    I never really paid attention to the number of words but try hard not to let my babbling fingertips get too wordy. I find the idea that new bloggers should write 2000 word posts a bit too much. Most bloggers and readers don’t have that kind of time. Good post no matter how many words it was!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 18, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      I agree, 2,000 words for a blog post are way too many. But then again, I have a short attention span.

      Liked by 1 person

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